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Schools in for Coney kids, just not in Coney

Closed until further notice: Coney Island’s PS 188 on Neptune Avenue may be closed for months due to damage it sustained during Hurricane Sandy, and the little scholars there have been sent elsewhere to earn their education.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

School’s out in Coney Island, but the learning continues.

Kids in Coney Island celebrated their first day back at school after Hurricane Sandy hit last week — just not at PS 188.

“Education will go on,” said Scott Kravitsky, who teaches a kindergarten class at the Neptune Avenue school and acts as the school’s community liaison, “even if the school’s closed.”

The Department of Education says that the Michael E. Berdy School should be opened by next week, but teachers were told that the building will not open for a month or perhaps more, Kravitsky said.

The building’s boiler is shot, power has not returned, and the school’s basement remains inundated in several feet of sea water, officials say.

“The school is constantly being worked on, but we’re not going to open until we get a clean bill of health,” said Kravitsky.

Meanwhile, the city has arranged for kids in grades pre-K and kindergarten to occupy classrooms in PS 212 in Fort Hamilton. Children in grades one through five are taking lessons at IS 281, also in Fort Hamilton.

But students won’t have to worry about finding their classes — their teachers wait for them at the door.

“As soon as they walk in they’re greeted by a smile from their own teachers, so they feel very, very comfortable,” said Kravitsky.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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